Missing & Endangered Children
With Lauth by your side, your child is never just a runaway.
Searching for Missing & Endangered Children
Even the most funded, experienced, well-staffed police departments have to make difficult decisions regarding where their money and manpower goes. This means that the label of “runaway” in cases of minor children who run away from home—especially if the child has a documented history of running away—often forces the file to the bottom of an investigator’s pile. Leads are lost and the trail goes cold while families in crisis wait desperately for answers. At Lauth, we never label missing and endangered children as runaways. We know a child on their own is a child at risk, and we treat every stage of the investigation with dogged due-diligence.
Unfortunately, the children at the most risk are the cases that do not get the attention they deserve. NCMEC received 23,500 reports of endangered runaways in 2018. One in seven of those children were estimated to be victims of sex trafficking. The average age of those victims was 15 years old—children with just enough agency to disappear on their own, who immediately become vulnerable to the predation of the world outside their childhood home. Parents can do their best to keep their children close to home, however, the ubiquity of the internet makes it easier than ever to lure potential victims from their homes and traffic them.
A private investigator like the missing person investigators of Lauth have a tiny fraction of the caseload that law enforcement personnel juggle every day. Hiring a missing person investigator in tandem with an official law enforcement investigation means that during the crucial first 48 hours of your child’s disappearance, there are always experienced and dedicated eyes on your child’s case as a priority can be the difference between acquiring invaluable information and losing a lead. One of the glowing advantages of hiring a private investigator to find your missing child or teen is more autonomy than the average law enforcement officer or investigator. Our investigators can follow leads beyond the bounds of the police’s jurisdiction, and work in tandem as necessary to facilitate the location and recovery of missing children who are at risk and endangered.
Case Study | Missing Person | Runaway Teen
Sometimes law enforcement can have difficulty following a runaway’s trail. That’s where missing person investigators come in.
Lauth missing person investigators were contacted by a mother, the Client, whose daughter, the Subject, had a documented history of running away from home—always returning after a few days. However, the last time the 17-year-old had vanished, she did not reappear as expected. That’s’ when the Client reached out to Lauth Investigations.
It was important for Lauth’s missing person investigators to build a profile of the Client’s daughter. Identifying patterns in her behavior would become crucial to locating her. After getting a list of her friends, hobbies, and frequented hang-out spots from the Client, Lauth missing person investigators set out to canvass the neighborhood and identify human witnesses. After speaking with a few neighbors, Lauth investigators learned the Subject was known to socialize with local drug dealers and was a close friend of a mid-level dealer’s girlfriend. After speaking with the friend and her neighbors, it became clear that the Subject was in a house that was known as a hub for gang activity. Lauth missing person investigators did surveillance on the house and obtained photographs of the teen going in and out of the house. Once the girl had been found, Lauth investigators contacted the police to alert them of the discovery. Lauth investigators showed the teen’s picture to law enforcement and assisted in the recovery by guarding the back door of the home so the teen could not escape.
The teen was successfully recovered and returned to her mother by law enforcement. Lauth Investigations conducted a follow-up call a few weeks later to check on the family, who reported that things had much improved since their daughter had returned home.